LAWSUIT FILED OVER DEATH PENALTY CASES THAT EXCLUDED BLACK JURORS: In a friend-of-the-court brief, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund cited statistical evidence of racial discrimination by Cumberland County prosecutors, who dismissed more than half of all eligible black jurors compared to a quarter of all others. This bias "unquestionably tainted" the sentencing process, lawyers argued. "The continuing stain of racial discrimination not only invalidates the death sentences imposed on these defendants, but it also undermines public confidence in North Carolina’s judicial system as a whole," Jin Hee Lee, LDF senior deputy director of litigation, said in a press release. "The Court must be unequivocal in rejecting racial bias in North Carolina juries, especially in death penalty cases, by giving the defendants a chance to challenge the discrimination they faced."
NC DMV REJECTS APPLICATION FOR PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATE FROM LESBIAN COUPLE: Amy Bright, a Greenville, North Carolina, resident, wanted her license plate to read “LSBNSNLV,” which stands for “lesbians in love.” According to WCNC in Charlotte, Bright wanted the license plate to be a homage to the love she has for her wife of eight years. “I think that’s ridiculous. I’m trying to celebrate the love I have for my wife, so I don’t see how that’s in poor taste,” Bright said. “How can a celebration of love ever be in poor taste?” Bright says she is appealing the DMV’s decision, but but isn’t too hopeful the appeal will go through. On the NC DMV’s website, it says they “reserve the right to refuse submissions that are deemed offensive to good taste and decency, over the space limit allowed for each plate style, or duplicates of another plate issues to a registered North Carolina Vehicle.”
JUDGE PUTS FREEZE ON TRUMP'S DEPORTATIONS OF REUNITED FAMILIES: In a court filing on Monday, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union said there are growing concerns that the Trump administration’s efforts to return more than 2,000 migrant children to their parents by July 26 to comply with a court order could be accompanied by attempts to carry out “mass deportations” once the families are reunited. Lawyers for the civil rights group referred in their motion to “persistent and increasing rumors — which defendants have refused to deny — that mass deportations may be carried out imminently and immediately upon reunification.” In an apparent attempt to head off any such concern, Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the U.S. District Court in San Diego on Monday temporarily blocked the government from deporting any families who had been separated by immigration authorities under President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy on border enforcement.
ANTI-IMMIGRANT STANCES BEING ADOPTED BY GROWING NUMBER OF EUROPEAN NATIONS: Greece's migration minister has warned that mainstream political parties across Europe are adopting a "xenophobic agenda" to maintain voter support. Dimitris Vitsas on Wednesday said the shift in policy had occurred despite a sharp drop in refugee and migrant arrivals in the European Union since 2015. Vitsas called on traditionally dominant political parties in the EU, on the center-left and center-right, to work more closely on immigration and defend "European values." He called on the EU to exert greater pressure on member states opted out of migration settlement schemes, including Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. Hungary's foreign minister says his country will pull out of a United Nations accord on migration to be adopted in December because it goes against Hungary's security interests.
IN ONE MORE BAREFACED LIE, TRUMP SAYS HE "MISSPOKE" AT PUTIN SUMMIT: Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to “clarify” his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he had misspoken when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. “The sentence should have been, ’I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia” instead of “why it would,” Trump said, in a rare admission of error by the bombastic U.S. leader. His comment came — amid rising rebuke by his own party — about 27 hours after his original, widely reported statement, which he made at a Monday summit in Helsinki standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said. That’s the part he corrected on Tuesday.
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